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Cover Reveal: Stranded & Seduced

A new member of the House of the Cat series!

Stranded & Seduced

A pretty cover for a re-issue (Resisting Tamaki).

Here’s the blurb:

Resistance is futile.

Cimmaron Zhaan refuses to follow the traditional path of a Dlog woman. Instead she dreams of traveling through space and flying spaceships for the Coalition. Years of hard work bring her goal within grasp, until her superior seeks sexual favors and leaves her stranded on the isolated planet of Marchant.

Enter sexy club manager Tamaki Grierson. Cimmaron’s not looking for a mate, but there’s no denying that sparks fly between them. Desperate to leave Marchant, all she wants is to keep her head down and work—no romance for her.

But there’s something strange about the club and curiosity leads Cimmaron into trouble. Before she knows it, she’s naked with Tamaki and his best friend. Kisses. Heated embraces and torrid sex. Their loving is breathtaking. Her resistance is at low ebb, her heart and mind battling her overwhelming attraction for Tamaki. If she isn’t careful, her Dlog hormones will tie her to him for life and her struggle to fly spaceships will be for naught.

I’m doing the final tweaks at present, and this book should be live at online retailers in the next couple of days.

Do you like the new cover?

New Release! Snared by Saber

I have a new release today.

Snared by Saber is the first book in my new series Middlemarch Capture. For those of you who enjoyed my Middlemarch Mates series, Middlemarch Capture features the descendants of those characters.

Snared by Saber_350x450

Here’s the blurb:

When a feline virus on Earth wipes out much of his race, Saber Mitchell moves his shifter family to the jungle planet of Tiraq. To provide an income—and keep the testosterone-fueled males from killing each other over the lack of mates—Saber opens Middlemarch Resort, specializing in women’s capture fantasies. Unbeknownst to the women, some captures will be more permanent than others.

Saber has no plans to find a mate himself…until a capture goes awry, landing both him and “kidnapped” guest Eva Henry on the other side of the huge island. Saber must face birds, beasts, hungry natives and Eva’s own penchant for escape to see her safely back to the resort.

Keeping his hands off her proves impossible…even after Saber learns mating Eva comes with bigger, more dangerous troubles than all their jungle perils combined.

 

Snared by Saber features all my favorite elements – a sci-fi setting, feline shapeshifters, family and adventures. I hope you like it.

Currently available at Amazon and Kobo. Snared by Saber should be available at other online retailers very soon.

Bedlam!

This post first appeared on Ally’s Miscellany

According to www.dictionary.reference.com bedlam is a scene or state of wild uproar and confusion. Synonyms for bedlam include disorder, tumult, chaos, clamor, turmoil, commotion, and pandemonium. If someone says, “The place was bedlam!” we know there was trouble and a lot of confusion.

But there’s more to the word.

Bedlam originated as a common name for the Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem in London. The hospital was a lunatic asylum and many families left relatives there in order to hide them from becoming public knowledge. It was also a place where husbands could leave wives who had become inconvenient, since it was widely known that women of the time were mentally unstable. Thank goodness times have changed!

Mistress of MerrivaleThe patients were chained to walls and posts and conditions were terrible. During the 18th century, in an effort to raise funds for the hospital, anyone with the price of admission could enter the hospital and visit the patients. Originally it was expected that the visitors would help the hospital raise money and bring food for the patients. That didn’t happen as the visitors treated the patients like a sideshow. They laughed and jeered, poked and teased the patients and threw things at them, inciting them to acts of madness. Bedlam was part of the tourist trail and these visits continued from 1720 – 1770.

In Mistress of Merrivale, Jocelyn, the heroine resists her sisters’ attempts to place their mother in Bedlam. She hates to think of her mother in a place like this and makes a point of looking after her parent. As one of the conditions of her arranged marriage with Leo Sherbourne, she insists he give her mother a home with them, and Elizabeth Townsend is spared from the horror of Bedlam.

Bedlam was a tourist site during the 18th century. If you were to visit London either during the 18th century or now, which tourist site would be on your to-do list?

Z is for Zealandia

Z

Zealandia is a wildlife sanctuary in Wellington—an inland island where endangered native species are kept safe from predators in the hope of increasing dwindling populations. The 225 hectare site includes two dams that used to supply the city of Wellington with water. It was decided that the dams might crack or burst during an earthquake and a decision was made to lower the dams and use the area as an inland island. The first step was to fence the area with pest free fences.

Pest free fences, Karori Sanctuary

These fences stop possums, stoats, weasels, ferrets, rats and mice from entering the sanctuary. Once the fences were installed a pest-control plan was put in place. A year later all 13 major pests in the area were fully eradicated. Thousands of native trees were planted (the area was previously all in pine) and this planting continues. The long-term vision for the project is to return the area to its original undisturbed state and this will take around 500 years.

Native species such as brown teal ducks, the little spotted kiwi, giant wetas, tuatara, stitchbird, North Island saddleback, weka, North Island robin and bellbirds are some of the inhabitants.

On entry to the sanctuary, staff check bags for mice, cats, rats and other pests. Thankfully, my bag was found pest-free. I know I would have been more shocked than anyone if a mouse had jumped out. We explored some of the many paths, pausing to peer through the treetops for the elusive birds.

Old Resevior

This is the old reservoir.

Native Duck

Native New Zealand duck – the scaup. It’s the smallest of our native ducks. The scaup is a diving duck and disappears for long moments under the water.

Takahe

This is a takahe, one of our flightless birds. It was thought to be extinct after 1898 but was rediscovered in 1948. There are two takahe at Zealandia – a pair – although they are infertile so are not adding to the low population. They eat tussocks, grass, shoots and insects.

Kakariki

This is the kakariki parakeet, one of NZ’s natives. They have become endangered due to loss of their natural habitat.

The day of our visit was warm and sunny – the perfect weather to tempt the tuataras out of their burrows. Tuatara are rare reptiles that are found only in New Zealand. I’d never seen one before since they mostly live on off shore islands and at a few sanctuaries.

We saw their burrows and finally, much to our excitement we spotted a tuatara!

Tuatara in Disguise

Tuatara

I still get excited whenever I think about seeing them. We watched them for ages, not that they do much except sit there and soak in the heat from the sun. It was a real privilege to see such a rare creature.

Thanks so much for visiting my posts during the A-Z challenge. It’s been a blast meeting other bloggers and reading all the wonderful posts.

Today I have a guest post at Collette Cameron’s blog – Blue Rose Romance where I’m discussing mazes and labyrinths. I’m also doing a giveaway. I hope to see you there!

A Career Woman with Secrets

MBB A Secret Worth Keeping Banner

I’d like to welcome LaKisha Johnson today with her book A Secret Worth Keeping. Here’s the blurb:

MEDIA KIT ASWK CoverShelby is a career woman turned housewife who enjoys the friendships that have been built with her 5 best friends; Camille, Lynesha, Raylin, Kerri and Chloe. They are all career women with different businesses, husbands and even children but something is missing and they can’t seem to find it at home, in a store or even in a book. So, they search for this missing piece in the beds, arms, cars and even offices of other men who don’t mind paying for what Dem Dam Divas can offer. They enjoy the thrill of sneaking, creeping and even vacationing on someone else’s dime but they soon find out that all good things come to an end. What happens when it becomes too much? From secretly wanting someone who doesn’t want you, loving only to not be loved back and being caught up in a dream that you’re about to be awaken from; will it be worth it in the end? Will they regret their actions or stand by them? Will they finally question whether this secret is really worth keeping?

 

And an excerpt:

Girls, this has been an amazing trip. I’m kind of sad that it’s ending but I am ready to get home to see my babies.

“Well, good for you; I can’t say the same,” said Kerri.

“Listen ladies, I know that these trips are supposed to be a release to renew our minds but they do no good if you go back to home and accept the same mess you left. If you all are not happy then make some changes. Life is too short to keep living in hell. You all are beautiful, educated and capable of taking care of yourselves so why continue to take less from your husband than what your husband is supposed to do? Please don’t get me wrong, I am in no way saying that you all should head to divorce court, however, I am saying stop lying down and accepting everything. Stop accepting less than what your husband should be giving. Why should you have to find part time love in the hands of someone else? Why should you find pleasure in the bed of someone else when your husband should be fulfilling your every fantasy and you should be filling his?”

“Shelby, I hear you but you have all that at home, we don’t” Chloe said with tears streaming down her face.

“Yea, you have a husband whose eyes light up when you enter the room, one who notices your new hairdo, one who doesn’t mind shopping with you, one who holds you when you cry, sit with you when you’re sick, stay up with you when the baby is sick; you have all that,” Kerri added.

“Yes, I do but this is because I wouldn’t accept anything less. Understand, we have our ups and downs but we work through them. We are not perfect and I’d be lying if I said anything differently but he knows my faults and accepts them and I know his and accept them.” I said.

CONTEST:

LaKisha will be awarding a download of A Secret Worth Keeping (format: winner’s choice) to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour. To gain a better chance of winning a prize, follow the rest of La Kisha’s tour. The tour dates can be found here.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

LaKisha Johnson is a girl after God’s own heart; doing what she believes to be herMEDIA KIT Kisha1 purpose..writing. In addition to being a self-published author, she’s also a wife of 15 years, mother of 2 and native of Memphis, TN. She comes from a huge family and has always been the go to girl whenever someone needed a poem written or read, an acknowledgement that would convey just what they were thinking or even an occasion written for that special day. She’s an all-around talented lady that makes everything she touch turn to gold. She has 2 degrees from Southwest TN Community College both in Information Technology and has worked in the corporate field for over 15 years. She is also a dedicated blogger, delivering a devotional blog 5 days per week entitled ”Kisha’s Daily Devotionals.”

LaKisha wants readers of her books to step outside the box and read with imagination. She wants them reeled in from the front cover to the last word, enjoying every second in between, asking for more. She doesn’t proclaim to be the best writer or even author in the world..she just proclaims to be blessed because her motto is ”God’s purpose is bigger than any problem!”

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ASWKeeping

Twitter – https://twitter.com/_lakishajohnson

Instagram – http://instagram.com/kishajohnson

Author Site – http://authorlakishajohnson.wordpress.com/

Email address – authorlakisha@gmail.com

Purchase Links

Amazon for Kindle | Amazon for paperback | Barnes and Noble for Nook | Barnes and Noble for paperback |

Q is for Queenstown

Q

Queenstown is a tourist destination in the South Island of New Zealand. It’s the place where adventure awaits, and from here you can go jet boating on the Shotover River, skiing during the winter, fishing, do helicopter rides, go bungy jumping, ride on the Skyline Gondola, go wine tasting and try any number of scary adventure sports.

The town is built on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and is surrounded by mountain ranges called the Remarkables. The setting is just stunning as you’ll see in the photo below.

Queenstown-1

The area where the town is now was once a high country farm. When gold was discovered in the nearby Arrow River, Rees, the owner converted his woolshed into a hotel and things went from there.

Lake Wakatipu

I’ve posted about the legend of how Lake Wakatipu was formed. You can read it here. I’ve also used the Queenstown area as the setting for two of my Middlemarch books, Assassin and Cat and Mouse.

I like to keep my feet firmly on the ground, which means I enjoy walking and trekking rather than trying any of these adventurous sports like bungy jumping.

Are you the adventurous sort?

O is for One Night of Misbehavior

O

Titles are hard things to pin down—at least I find them difficult, and I can ponder and panic about finding the perfect title for a book for weeks. Titles also don’t begin with an O, but bear with me.

Cinderella is my favorite fairy tale. I guess it’s the romantic in me, but I like the idea of a prince searching the kingdom for his special woman and finding her in the most unlikely place. When I wrote the book that became my first self-published title, I decided to take the tale of Cinderella and give it my own special New Zealand spin.

And that’s when my title problem rose up like a many-headed snake. I thought and wrote lists, I pestered my husband for ideas then promptly said, “no, no, no,” because none of them were right. For a long time I called my story One Night With Zorro, which I really liked, but I worried about the Zorro part of the title and copyright.

Then, one day it hit me—the perfect title.

One Night of Misbehavior.

Here’s the blurb for One Night of Misbehavior, my Cinderella inspired romance, which is set in New Zealand.

One Night of Misbehavior

He wears his scars on the outside. She keeps hers safe inside.

Charlotte Dixon ignores her stepmother’s edict and, in an act of disobedience, attends one of the social events of the year—a masquerade costume ball. Charlotte’s naughtiness escalates when she dances and smooches with a sexy mystery man. The night of anonymous passion that follows makes her yearn for a different life, but the next day she’s back to her dull routine of household management.

Advertising tycoon, Ash Marlborough is about to set a private investigator on the trail of his nameless princess when she waltzes right into his place of work. Charlotte is shocked to meet her masked man in the flesh, and even more perturbed when he asks her out on a date. Despite craving another night of sexy loving, she doesn’t have time for a man, not when she wants to reinvent herself and grasp a new, improved life with both hands. But Ash knows what he wants, and he’s determined to win the heart of his princess. Let the dance of seduction commence.

Warning: Contains a conniving stepmother, selfish stepsisters, a grandmother with fairy godmother tendencies and a sexy masked man who is willing to face them all for the love of a good woman.

What is your favorite fairy tale? And authors out there, do you have trouble with titles?

13 Facts About Baboons and Frogs

Thursday Thirteen

Recently I’ve been plotting and planning a new series called Middlemarch Capture. One of the fun things about writing is you get to research all sorts of interesting things. This week I’ve been researching baboons and frogs for the first two books in my series.

Thirteen Things About Baboons and Frogs

We’ll start with baboons:

Baboons

1. The muzzle angles very sharply from the braincase and the face is free of hair.

2. The buttock area is naked of fur too.

3. All fingers have fingernails.

4. They hang out in troops of varied ages. If threatened the adults will protect those weaker and there are marked ranks within the troop.

5. They have powerful canines and are fierce fighters. Their main enemy is the leopard.

6. They are omnivores and eat grasses, insects, young gazelles and antelopes and sometimes others within the troop. They have also been known to kill human children.

Frog

7. Frogs are found on every continent apart from Antarctica.

8. A worrying number of frogs are becoming extinct each year.

9. Frogs are amphibians. They hatch as tadpoles and change to frogs. There are some frogs which develop directly and this enables them to live away from water.

10. Scientists call frogs an indicator species since they help to show how an ecology is functioning.

11. Frogs eat insects.

12. Different species of frogs have different shaped and colored eyes. They can be catlike, round or even heart shaped and the colors can be brown, bronze, green and red.

13. Frogs breathe and absorb moisture through their skin. Some frogs secrete a mucous through their skin. Some frogs shed their skin on a daily basis, while others stick to weekly shedding of skin. By all accounts this looks pretty freaky.

I found some very cool facts to twist and fit into my sci-fi romances. A very productive day!

What is the strangest thing you’ve researched?

Fast Train to Shanghai!

Fast Train, Shanghai

When we visited Shanghai everyone in our group was eager to experience the fast train. It’s a high-speed magnetic levitation train.

The train travels the 30 km (18.6 miles) in seven minutes and twenty seconds. All I know is that it was incredibly fast. The scenery blurred and the speedo inside the train went up to 431 kilometers. I didn’t feel safe, but then I hate speed. I’m much happier when my feet are planted firmly on the ground. I was very happy to get off at the other end.

Later today (12 Feb) I’m doing a chat about at Coffee Time Romance at 9.00 pm EST. I’ll be talking about my Middlemarch Mates series (feline shifters) and my upcoming Middlemarch Capture series.

I’m taking part in The Romance Studio’s Valentine’s party. You can take part here and win some great prizes.

And finally, don’t forget to enter my contest in the Share the Love blog hop. You might win an Amazon gift certificate!

Have you traveled in a fast train? Do you like speed?

Serials – An Old Idea Made New?

There has been a lot of talk about fictional serials during the last few months with both publishers and Amazon embracing the idea.

A serial is a single book broken down into instalments. These instalments go on sale one at a time with the ending hook of each serial prompting readers to purchase the next. According to Wikipedia, serials have been around for a long time, but they were at their peak during the Victorian era. Writers such as Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were two of the many successful serial writers during this era.

Radio serials were popular from the early 1900s. One long-running radio serial you might have heard of is The Archers, a British soap-opera. The first episode of the Archers ran in 1950 and they are still producing the show on a semi-regular basis. If you’re interested several episodes are available as podcasts on iTunes.

These days we’re more likely to get our serial fix on television, although as a child I read comics done in a serial fashion. Soap operas are a common form where we follow the lives of our characters and become invested in what happens next. We even have a local soap opera in New Zealand called Shortland Street, which has been running for as long as I can remember.

Author Beth Kery has written an eight part serial called Because You Are Mine, an erotic story along the lines of Fifty Shades of Grey. Her serial is currently available at Amazon etc.

Writing a serial is different from writing a book.

1. The process is a lot quicker with the serial coming to market, often before the writer has completed all the instalments.

2. Feedback from readers is a lot quicker too.

3. The writer can change the direction of the serial after reader feedback.

4. The writer can’t go back and change things in already published instalments. This would be a problem for me since I think about my plot and characters as I write.

5. There is a short period of waiting on the part of the reader, which can help build word-of-mouth. Readers are wondering what will happen next and where the story will go. The build of anticipation is present.

6. Pricing can be controversial. I noted on some of the Amazon reviews Of Because You Are Mine there were some unhappy readers who expected more “book” for their money. Each instalment is two chapters.

As a writer, I think writing a serial would present a challenge. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to stretch in this direction in the future.

What about you? Have you read a serial? Have you tried Beth Kery’s Because You Are Mine series? Would you like to write a serial?